The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has highlighted the potential skills impact of a no deal Brexit and stressed the need for an immigration policy that allows the country to attract much needed international resources as businesses celebrate global talent acquisition day.

At a time when firms are highlighting the value of international candidate pools, the trade body has stressed the potential damage to skills availability across leading sectors in the UK should the country leave the EU without a robust immigration policy in place.

Tania Bowers, General Counsel at APSCo commented:

“There’s no doubt that immigration is hugely valuable for the UK. In fact, a recent CBI study suggested that EU workers make up between 4% and 30% of the total workforce in different sectors. When we drill this down into specific industries, there are a number of areas that are heavily reliant on international talent. For example, over half of economics and econometrics academic staff in higher education institutions are non-British and 1 in 4 employees in banking and finance in London are non-UK citizens.

“In the event of a no deal Brexit, freedom of movement could be limited, impacting the ability to attract highly skilled EU workers. What the government is overlooking at the moment is the need for a visa for the skilled self-employed in the post Brexit landscape. Despite the proposed expansion of the Tier 1 Investor and Exceptional Talent Visas (which replaced the Entrepreneur Visa at the end of March this year), it’s still very restrictive. We would urge the government to re-consider the impact on staffing should we leave with no clear immigration policy.”

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